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The Avenger

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CHAP. III. t With a slighÜy ïtooping gait-his t tong rifle at a trail, and bis keen eyes ( lixed ntently on the path he was , tog- erery displaced leaf- every l pressed blade of grass-erery bent twig - whioh none Ijut an eye like his would f have detectad, served as a guidc to the „ld hunter, wlio followed on the track 1 of the savages with the unetring i cision of the blood-hound on the scent. i Occasionally he pausod in his rapid walk and bendinghisear to flwgrönnd, listenedintenüyfor a momentor two. Dnring one of the pauses, he patted the haar? sidesof the mastitV, which closclv Followed in his footsteps, and addresed him in a low tone. They sliall rue it, Iïravc - they shal rue it! ' Blood for blood says the good book- thongh the varmits are but heathens and are ignorant of tbc scriptors! A womanand a ohild: ah, brave! Üiere'smoremarcyina bruto than in them reptiles. They carne in the divcclian trom Yarmouth, and thosc va - ior ringlete, so much like twislcd gold, wcre torn from the head of Luth (ireeley, poor thing! orl'm mistaken. 15nt l'll revengo her, it I die for it!- Como Brave!" and the scout resumed the trail with the same untiring pace. Throughont the day he faltered not in the puï-suit - making ouly a brief halt at noon by a spring side, where he P&Ttook of the frugal íare he borewithhim, which he shared with his faithful companion. As the day began to decline i„,i i„ d-iil licrarae more mdistinct in the gatherngdarkness, the scout sftppeU andaddressedhisdog. i ¦lieve, Brave," said hc pomting , ahead "'it is your turn to takc tlic lead - a dog's nose is better than a mana i e ve atthis liour." I Al the voice of his master the dog , waffged hia tail, as if assenting to lbo ] comniand, and aftcr snuiVing along the ; path as if to secure the sceut, he turnea , liW heul, looking into the hunter's face, with an "I'm ready" exprossion about biseyea 'The scout nodded lus head, the dog lurned bis, and with hia noso close tothegroundthesagacious animal trotted ahead, bis master following unhesitatingly his lead. Yn hour or more the two went silcutly on their path, by whicli time the woods had bei-ome so dark that inore caution was neeessary in keepmg the track. 8tiH the old man followed tho with tlic utmost confidenoe, even when the route becamewhollyobscured. Once, only did tho dog show any signs of at fanlt. Stopping suddenly n his path then diverging first to one and then to Die other sido of the coursc he had been following, hc ran about for a few moments snulling the air and ntteriug a low whine. Tho scout watcheTl his movement with eagnr eariosity. ,,, "Have yon fonnd it, Brave! he at leno-lli whispered to the dog, who havinff strnck off at nearly a right angle, and then running a sliort distanco m 'hal direcÜon, had relurned on the trot to his master's side. The dog joyfally wagged his tail and stood in an attitude evincing an eagerness to proeccd. At a word from hia master hestartediorward, followed by tho scont, in a direotion very essentially ilififerent from the one they had been" pursuing. "Thero,': muttered tho old man to himself aftev they had got fairly starled -"that are pup knows more than any two men in the settloment Sqtiáre Hawkes with all his learaing, and law s a ii)i)l 10 luim xhbj o "" ": crittera have nosouls, andean't roason. P'r'aps nol p'r'aps not- I can't bot - hut. to my thinking whon the dog dies thatwon'tbe the end of Mm! Andas to his reason, I ain't so olear- ['ve argued niany a tough case with him here in the woods, and l'vo larnt to give it to hlm, tor some way orother't "is alwava turned out that, lie was in the right, tho' my reason was ng'in him :ti lirsT. L'.vömy noüons of these thines," said the scout shaking lus head- "i've sny notions of these things, and 'twill be plagaey havd böating Vin out of mr. Ha, lfrav'c! what's in the wind?" lic added, addressing the animal, who had again stopp'od crouched before hna. 'A suppressed growl from the mastifi followed this enquirv. "Do yon sincll tho redskins, pup?" said the scout, as lio knelt besido the dog in a listening attitude. Ho remalned in this poeiüon some minutes, but apparontly without detecting the canse of the dog's alarm. 'The dorr's liose beats cyes and ears this time, ""said the old man in a whisper - "but ril lay my lite on't the varments are not f ar oft. Go, Brave and lind 'ciuout!" The mastiil' rose to his foet, and with a Doisoless tread kopt on nis way, leaving behind liis masler, wlio carefnlly putting aside tho foliage of a clump of bushes near by, crepl into thoir covert. Kor nearly an hour ho remained in this coneealment, axiously waiting the return of tho mastiiV. íío reposed unbounded eonfidence in this faithfal oreature, whosc sagacily was truly wonderful. Tho animal was of a mixed breed, oombiningal] the qualities which rendered him invaluablc to a man like the scout. The old man had reared aml trained him from a pup, and suoh a perfect sympathy as it wore, existed belwcen tlie two, that neither of tlicm could 'o anylhing unlcss mutual ly understood. A light pattering antöng the dry leaves at last announeod the apprpach of the reooanoiterer and presently lic entered the covert and rubbcd himself fqndly against liis master's limbs. "l)id youdiskiver 'cm dogP" said the scout stooping down to caress tho faitiiful animal. As hc rcachod out his hand for thal parpose, it camc in contact with the soft, silken ringlets attaohëd tothesoalp of a child, aocidentally dropped by the tndian, perhaps, aud wliich the dog had brought back as a proofof the successof his mission. - Vi.rMing it 10 his maaier, ho gave a low, angry growl, and lurned tow:ird tho quarter whenoa he liad come. "Ha! wliat have we here!" exclaimed the old man as he received the fearful trophy-"The chfld's soalp as I live! Poor thing- poor tliing!" and a moisture gathered in his eyo as he smoothed ts dTshevelled locks. "My httlo play mate Ruth- so livcly and íroliosome!- the pet ol' tlie sottlement! And tliis sweet ) t tic cherub so cruellybutchered. Wliy didu't tlio 'arth open and swallow the liends! Wral- wal- it's all right I s'pose- 1 lis wisdom and His meroy aro notto be questioned by us weak and short, mghted mortals! bat " 'l'lio scout dia not linisli the sentence. Tho tone in which that 'bot1 was nttered, however, told tho stcrn parpóse ho had formed. Tightening liis hunÜDg jelt and repriming his rifle, lic raaae .1 flgnal to Brave, who stood seeniingly waitinghia movements, and scout an loe "luled cautiously through the labymlis of the wüderness, now dinily ghted by therisiag of Ihemoon, wlioso ays scaroely penctrated the deep folir3 of the forost. CHAP. IV. The scène was ono of glooniy grandUT It was dcep moonlight. Heavy masses of clouds athwart tho heavens, lirough the rifts of which tho moon ocasionally feil in glimmerinp; patchos on i lako's broail bosoni, wtaicu spread out ike a vast mirïor of steel in tho uneortain light. Tall treos- the wide-spreai oak-Oie straight and slender beech and walnut- tho litho ash, and the plume Hko ür formed a dense avray in th backeroand, while tho borders of th Ukn were frimred with bushes an hickets ot aiaers. ai one wuu ¦ ank ran up sloping lo tho forest's edge, vhioli licrc receaed for somo distance, he huge trunks likc mossy columns ín he great templo of natura Deeosilence broodcd over this litüe zreen'plat-rsilenee and darkness,- save when at limosa light shiver ran among the trees, as a breath of air broko thcir repose, an.l au opening in tho clouüs illuininatod tho placo witli tho moons transiem light. At suoli times might be secn drawn U] in a line on the grassy bank, thcir prows juflt at tho water s edcre, three canoes.reatly to be launclieü ata moment'B warning- and clusteren here aml thcro in gi-oups, tho dim lorna of slccping savages, to tho number ot ten or more. It was the temporary cncampircnt a war party, each member of wluch w apparcntly buricd in pvofound slumber. A moment howover, showed, that there wero sleopless eyos and listening cars in that slumbering band- for one ot tuo aambei mighthavo been scen half-raising himself, resting on an elbow in an attitude exprossing keen and vigüant watchfnlnoss. For live minutes or moro the attention of the aroused savagc seemed rivcted in a particular direction, as if jealousy was awakened- lus restless burning glances striving to penétrate tho dim recesses of the surround;„„¦ wnnrls. and hisoars kecnly sensitivo to the faintcst sound that might bo afloat. Aftcr awhilc, perfectly satished with his scrutiny, ho let himsolf down to his formcr rscumbent position. Keen as wore tho lenses of the red man - conlidont as ho was of tía power of detecting tbc iirst approaoh of dan(rcr- thero was onc in his ïmmediate neMiberhood .vhosc skill and cunmng in wood-craft wcro moro ühan a match for liim ín an angle of the oponing was a thick clurap of buslies, and towards this prono on the ground, the form of a man might have boen scen, at the vcry time the awakened garage was peering around with thoso snakoHke oyes of his- worming slowly along. Not tho mstlo of a leaf- not the cracklo of a twio marked tho wily movement, wiiicli was so slow as to be almost imperceptible. Tho cvert was atlast rcached, and for nearly an hour the figitte remained as if void of life. It was now that timo of nio-ht when tho sensesare most decply locked in slumbcr- the hour genorally choson by the savago for an atlack. A dcad silence rcigned over tho scène, broken only by the heavy breathino- of tho red men, all of whom oven toihc sontinel, werc buried in profound slnmhnr. Slowlv and Í cautiously tho rostrate figuro of the man in the nishes rosexipreve&ling thewell known brm of the scout. After peering around on the sleeping lavages, the hunter gave a serpent-liko liss, and presently Üie shaggy niastifl ,vas seen. treading noiselessly over the Iried leaves, just skirting tho forest, to ivhero his master was secreted- tho jovert hc had chosen bemg directly opposite his entrance into the opening. Arriving at his master's sido, the dog stood looking wistfully into his face. Stooping down and putting the head nf the failJiful animal, tho old man held the child's sealp toward Mm and whispcred in his ear: "Go, Brave, and smcll 'cm out!" In obedionce to this eommand, the saa;acious creaturo starled, picking his way slowly and carefully along aniong the slccping foo, at last he paused by th3 sido of two of tho savages who wcre huddled a littlo apart from tho otters, and f ortunately f or the scout, in closo proximity to tho forest's edge. What that design was the reader has already surmised. It was to avengo tho dcatli of niother and child. He had boon prowling around tho cncanipmcnt for somc hours, and had ascortained the numbor of the cnomy. Their superior force, and the great risk of detection woui'i nave aeierreu a jus iksuuhc man ; but the old scout knew aotfear, and onco his mimi resolved, no dangor, however threatcning, would turn him aside. "'Tis posky risky business 1 know," soliloqui.ed th old man, "but littlo Ruth shall bo avenged, thal I'm deter mined on!'' Loaving his rille in tho busiics, aml unskoathing liis long hunthig knife, hc prepared himself for tho fcarful and desperate tftsk hc had midertaken. "I'd rathor moot 'era in a fair nght," was tho tenor of his thoughts as iio left his covert and warily advancjd to tho spot whero Brave stood motionless over tho uiiconscious sleopor, - I'd rather meet 'em in a fair iight with a tree atween us, when tho quickost oyo and surest aim does tho job. This stabbing 'cm in thcir sleep is ag'iu my white nater, and too much liko tho desateful red skins! Thero's a taint of murdor about it, I don't like," and for a momont ho panscd and hesitated in his vengeful parpase. Then camc tho thought of littlo Uiitli writhingundcr the scalping kmfo - tlion, too, carne the thought of his own sister who, years ago feil bencatli tho blow of tho jnurderous tomahawk, and over whose manglcd cornso ho had sworn vengoance oven though his lifo should bo forfoited- well had that oath boen kept- and should ho rclcnt now - with somo of the vory tribo beforo him that commiltcd tho dood- porkaps tho very perpetrator of it - his hands fresh stained witli innocent blood? The cruel foo wcre in his power, and tho vcry ground seemed to cry "Blood for blood!" "They shall die!" cxclainied the scout in an excited yoieo completely tlirown off liis gaard as these rocollections throngod upon him, and totally forgetful of his porilous situation, and tho extreme caution necessary. Ho had nearly reacked the sido of tho Indiana whon these fatal words wero uttered, and barely had thoy escaped tho lips when ho was made sensiblo of his imprudenco, for tho savagQ nearest him sprang half way to his feet with an oxpressivo "Hugh!" But ero lio had got his footing, tho old man leapcd upon him, liko a panthor on its proy, and tho noxt moment liis knifo was buried deep in tho heart of tho savago. A gurgling groan burst from the mortally wonnded foe, as ho feil heavily across liis wounded companion. Quick as lightning, cro tho ono tlius suddenly arousnd had a monxont for thought or speech, the dog had him by the tliroat, and only rclcased his hold whn the formidable knifo of tbo huntor, witli ono swoop, had half sovered tho licad from the body of the victiiB. Ere tho ï'eekbig Made was witlulrawn from the gaping wound, a wild whoop rang thröugh the air, and a dozen dusky forms loaped as if 1)V magie, from tko sward ! [TO UB WNTINUED.]


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